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D. A-R. Forbes-Erickson


"...a world of international experience."​

D. Amy-Rose Forbes-Erickson is an Assistant Professor of Theatre and Performance Studies in the Department of Theatre and Film, BGSU. Her research has been published in areas of African, African American, Latin American, and Caribbean theatres and performances. Her research focusses on race, gender, coloniality/decoloniality, Black feminisms, and sacred queer spaces in masquerades. Her book (in progress), Caribbean Masquerades as Palimpsests: A Chronological Survey from the 16th Century to the early 21st Century (Edwin Mellen Press), traces the emergence of masquerade figures in carnivals, balls, and parades from the point of contact between European conquest, and Indigenous and African peoples in the Caribbean from the 16th century to the early 21st century. Her 2nd book project, A Sacred Queer Treatise on Masquerade Devils in Caribbean Dramatic Literature, Mid-20th century to the 1970s analyzes post-colonial dramatic literature derived from masquerade devils in carnivals and folk life in Puerto Rico, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago. Other projects include performance historiographies on popular Caribbean women’s masquerades of La Mulata, Dougla, and Ship-yit-(t)diam in Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago.


Dr. Forbes-Erickson has presented scholarly papers at national conferences at the Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE), Mid-America Theatre Conference (MATC), the Black Theatre Network (BTN), the Africa Conference (UT Austin), and the Comparative Drama Conference (CDC) in the USA; and at international conferences at the International Federation for Theatre Research (IFTR) in Ghana, Caribbean Studies Association (CSA) in Brazil and Trinidad and Tobago, and the British Forum for Ethnomusicology Annual Conference in Winchester, England.

Working from a Black feminist practice in cultural activism, her artistic work includes directing and theatre design. She is the founder/artistic director of the Pan-African Theatre Ensemble dedicated to Black theatres in the African continuum. Selected directed plays include Suzan-Lori Parks’s Venus, Wole Soyinka’s The Bacchae of Euripides: A Communion Rite, Francisco Arriví’s Vejigantes, Dennis Scott’s An Echo in the Bone, and a devised production, based on Mwatabu Okantah’s epic poem Cheikh Anta Diop: Poem for the Living called “Digital Masks to Africa” that traveled to the international Fringe Theatre Festival, Edinburgh, Scotland during Summer 2019. Recent directed productions include California State University, Sacramento’s production of Jackie Sibblies Drury’s We Are Proud to Present a Presentation About the Herero of Namibia, Formerly Known as Southwest Africa, From the German Südwestafrika, Between the Years 1884–1915 in April, 2021, and Anna Deavere Smith’s Twilight, Los Angeles, 1992, a Black Swamp Players production in May 2022 in Bowling Green, Ohio.


Dr. Forbes-Erickson has taught at Kent State University and California State University, Sacramento before joining the faculty in the Department of Theatre and Film at Bowling Green State University.



PhD, Theatre: Performance as Public Practice, University of Texas at Austin, Texas, USA, 2013

Doctoral Portfolio in African and African American Studies


MA, Theatre, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky, USA, 2006

BA (Hons), Theatre Design, University of London - Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, London, England, 1999


Professional Memberships

African Theatre Association (AfTA)

International Federation for Theatre Research (IFTR)

Caribbean Studies Association (CSA)

Black Theatre Network (BTN)

American Association of University Women (AAUW)

Association for the Study of the Worldwide African Diaspora (ASWAD)

2nd Bio

D. Amy-Rose Forbes-Erickson (Denise Forbes) is a theatre director, sculptor, designer, scholar. Dr. Forbes-Erickson is the founder and Artistic Director of the Pan-African Theatre Ensemble started at Kent State University. She is currently an Assistant Professor of African American Theatre and Dramatic Literature, Department of Theatre and Dance, California State University, Sacramento, USA. Her expertise is in Pan-African theatres, including African American, Caribbean, and African theatres and performances. Dr. Forbes-Erickson received a doctorate in Theatre: Performance as Public Practice with a Doctoral Portfolio in African and African American Studies from the University of Texas at Austin, December 2013. She holds a MA in Theatre from the University of Kentucky, Lexington, 2006; a BA (Hons) degree in Theatre Design from Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London, England, 1999; and a Diploma in Sculpture from the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts in Kingston, Jamaica, 1990.

Dr. Forbes-Erickson has worked across various disciplines in the visual arts and theatre practice, and has exhibited and/or designed for theatre in England, the Czech Republic, Canada, the Caribbean, and the United States. She has designed for ProArts Collective, the premier African American Theatre Company in Austin, Texas; Theatre Centre Company in London, England, and the acclaimed Little Theatre Movement National Pantomime Company of Jamaica. In sculpture, her media are welded steel and mixed media in mostly expressive skeletal figures with themes on freedom from the strictures of gravity; and on odysseys, journeys and the metaphysical world. She has exhibited in numerous exhibitions in Jamaica and England, and public commissions. Selected designed productions include ‘Biyi Bandele’s "Oronooko," Wole Soyinka’s "Death and The King’s Horseman," Derek Walcott’s "Dream on Monkey Mountain," and Sophocles's "Oedipus The King." She has directed and designed academic theatre in Kingston, Jamaica, Austin, Texas, Lexington, Kentucky, Kent, Ohio, , and London, England.

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